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Kallista and Ann Sacks Receive Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Awards


January 3, 2018

Ann Sacks Tile and Stone and Kallista plumbing brands under the Kohler Co. Decorative Products Sector, are recipients of The Chicago Athenaeum Museum Good Design Awards for the Ann Sacks Itai Bar-On Collection and Kallista Taper by Bjarke Ingels.  The trademarked awards program was founded in Chicago in 1950 by architects Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames and Edgar Kaufmann, Jr.

This is the 67th year the Chicago Athenaeum Museum has conducted the Best Consumer Design Products and Graphics Good Design awards, reviewing product submissions from more than 48 countries.  The awards cover new consumer products, graphics and packaging designed and manufactured in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North and South America and organized annually by The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design in cooperation with the European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies.  Entries included categories in design and innovation, sustainability, creativity, branding, ecologically responsible design, human factors, materials, technology, graphic arts, packaging and universal design.

Ann Sacks collaborated with product designer, Israel-based Itai Bar-On, on a collection of handcrafted tiles exclusive to Ann Sacks in North America.  The nature of the concrete medium adds to the textural nuance of the tiles – smooth to the touch and softly honed, with a surface randomly broken with pits and other marks that occur during the pouring and curing process.

“The idea for the bending of concrete began as a concept to play with concrete as if it were a plasticine,” explained Bar-On.  “I wasn’t thinking of a tile when I did my research, the idea was to develop a method so I could do many things with it.  The research was based on two things – the material and the mold.  On the one hand, I was trying to achieve the best formula for the concrete, and on the other hand, I developed a unique mold that could combine perfectly with the material.  This has opened me up as a designer, creating a whole new world of products that I could design.  As I already was so interested in the handcraft of tile, it was automatically the first product I did. The idea to use light with it was requested and the result speaks for itself.  I have called it ‘Free Concrete’ because I could almost play with it as freely as I wanted to.”

Kallista partnered with Bjarke Ingels, founder and head of the Danish architectural practice Bjarke Ingels Group, to create Taper by Bjarke Ingels.  Deeply rooted in the principles of classic Mid-Century Danish design, the Taper Sink Faucet marries advanced engineering with a sleek cone shape that transitions outward into a cylinder. The signature cone-to-cylinder design represents a paring down of the form to its most elemental components.

“The sculpted shape of Taper translates from the geometry of the pipe and sculpts the flow of water to the hands or body,” described Ingels.  The faucet has an austere, forward-leaning profile with a 90-degree bend in the faucets and lever handles to slyly reference the stark geometry of the pipes behind the walls.  The faucet spout is designed with a tip that is uniquely flush with the faucet; the aerator is in the base where it cannot be seen by the user.  Taper meets the flow, force and coverage mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency to be WaterSense listed with a 1.5 gpm laminar flow aerator.